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Peter Pierce

Peter Pierce

Peter Pierce (1950-2018) was an Honorary Professor at Monash University. He edited The Cambridge History of Australian Literature and had been chief judge of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction for the many years. Among his other books are From Go to Whoa: A Compendium of the Australian Turf; Australian Melodramas: Thomas Keneally's Fiction; and The Country of Lost Children.

Peter Pierce reviews 'The Wolf: The most audacious warship of World War One and its 15-Month campaign of terror against Australia and the world' by Richard Guilliatt and Peter Hohnen

June 2009, no. 312 01 June 2009
Late in November 1916, the German commerce raider Wolf, laden with 100 tonnes of mines, set out on a journey of 100,000 kilometres across three oceans. After the ship reached home, in February 1918, 442 days later, its guns and mines had destroyed more than twenty Allied vessels. Hundreds of their crews and passengers had been held captive. When the voyage of the Wolf began, German U-boats were si ... (read more)

Peter Pierce reviews 'The Widow and Her Hero' by Tom Keneally

March 2007, no. 289 01 March 2007
In September 1943, seventeen commandos of Z Special Force, led by Lieutenant Commander Ivan Lyon, attacked and sank with limpet mines seven ships in the Singapore harbour. A year later, in October 1944, when the Pacific War had only months to run, a repeat performance failed and all those involved were either killed in action or executed by the Japanese. Though these events provide the basis for T ... (read more)

Peter Pierce reviews 'Journey to the Stone Country' by Alex Miller

October 2002, no. 245 01 October 2002
In Alex Miller’s latest novel, Journey to the Stone Country, we are not in Carlton for long before being taken far to the north, to Townsville, and then inland to country that few Australians know. The short first scene is handled with dispassionateness and economy. Melbourne history lecturer Annabelle Beck comes home to find that her husband, Stephen Kuenz, has deserted her for an Israeli-born ... (read more)

Peter Pierce reviews 'When Colts Ran' by Roger McDonald

November 2010, no. 326 15 November 2011
Between the wars, the dominant mode of Australian fiction was the saga: tales of land-taking and nation-building, melodramas within families across generations, characters shaped by loneliness and obsession, struggles against fire, flood, and drought, and the anguish of married life. In the fiction of Eleanor Dark, ‘M. Barnard Eldershaw’, Xavier Herbert, ‘Louis Kaye’, and Brian Penton amon ... (read more)

Peter Pierce reviews 'P.O.W.: Australian Prisoners of War in Hitler’s Reich' by Peter Monteath

July–August 2011, no. 333 29 June 2011
Of the fate of Australian prisoners of war in the hands of the Japanese during World War II, the literature – memoir, fiction, history – is voluminous. There were 21,652 of them, of whom thirty-five per cent, or 7780, perished. A good deal has also been written of enemy prisoners – Japanese, German, Italian – who were held in camps in this country, and in particular of the mass breakout at ... (read more)
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